January 21, 2006
Dogs know what to do with (blatant manipulation of) polls
Andrew Coyne has commented on how the Globe & Mail buried their poll results when the Conservatives had a big lead, but made them the front-page headline when that lead dropped sharply. Now that The Strategic Counsel has released the full details, the integrity bar drops even lower.
Click here, scroll down to page nine, and look at the "N equals" row, where the sample size is listed. Notice how it's 1,500 people all throughout the month of January... except for the most recent day, when the sample suddenly drops to 1,000.
Why did they do this?
Well, remember that each SC daily number with a sample size of 1,500 is the sum of the last three days of polling, with 500 people each. If the last poll is only two days (January 17 and 18), it means that they threw out the January 16 result a day earlier. And by coincidence, the Conservatives' big 18-point lead happened on... January 16. This means that the polling day which put the Tories way up was conveniently dropped a day earlier than it should have been, which conveniently allowed the Globe to loudly proclaim they had a big drop in support.
Dogs know what to do with (media reporting on) polls, part 1
Dogs know what to do with (media reporting on) polls, part 2